Automotive Digital Marketing

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I bet you thought Internet fame means increased sales for your business. Nope. Just ask Chuck Testa. The California taxidermist became an internet phenomenon when he released this comically dry advertisement for his Ojai Valley specialty business. The campy, low-budget Youtube spot monotonously claims that Testa’s stuffed animals look so real, you’ll probably think they’re alive. Within days, the video had gone completely viral, garnering over two million views within 48 hours. Since then, the Ojai Valley commercial has become an Internet classic, inspiring dozens of online mockeries and memes.

But despite his newfound Internet fame, Mr. Testa hasn’t had much business to show for it. This might have something to do with the fact that the man sells exotic dead animals. It’s not much of a consumer product. But outside of a few “Nope” T-shirts, Internet fame hasn’t done much to stymie demand. Since his viral video hit last year, Testa says that his store has done nothing but“business as usual.”

“I’m still broke,” Testa says. The Internet notoriety may have even made the taxidermy business even tougher. After his video became an Internet sensation, someone bought domain name and attempted to sell it back to Testa at an extraordinary price. Testa’s voicemail is populated mostly with prank calls instead of new requests. A few months ago, his attire in the video even had some speculating that Testa was a Nazi – and that’s never good for business.

So what?

The auto industry in particular spends a lot of time, money, and effort on video content. How many ridiculous “car guy” commercials have you seen? Sometimes we even get a glimpse of how stressful making a viral video really is. How much do your customers value these attempts? Do they visit your dealership more often because of it?

In the 21st century, your consumers will rely on your website and online information more than anything else. Instead of trying to find Internet fame with campy commercials, devote your time to creating customer solutions that will drive potential buyers to you. Rather than thinking up the perfect tagline for your next commercial, focus on creating content to optimize your dealership page and drive more qualified traffic to your site. Don’t worry about funding that viral hit – implement a better user web experience first. Your customers will appreciate it.

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Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 12:32pm

@ Tim - Well well.......... how ya doin` stranger?????????

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 12:32pm

@ Steve - I thought you might like! Thanks

Comment by Tim Jennings on June 27, 2012 at 12:25pm

"Another cool site from Ken Beam"

Comment by Stephen Jackson on June 27, 2012 at 12:16pm

Ken - 

I love how the promo video syncs up with the video of the fireworks display. That's an excellent landing page. 

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 12:05pm

Lastly....... here`s a cool way to "Light-Up" an event using email (Think EBlasts) AND Video;

We made this the other night....... Click-The-Pic!


*Call Dan Beckelman Internet Specialist right now at
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Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 12:01pm

@ Steve, Ketty & Kelly - Make sure Todd sends ALL of you to Auto-Con 2012 - it should be an awesome event.

Comment by Timothy Martell on June 27, 2012 at 11:56am

Problem with drawing conclusions and analogies from anecdotal singular encounters is... they're anecdotal singular encounters and not representative of anything except that example. Also, it should be noted that the 12,142,450 views he received netted him about $47,016.09 from youtube -- Not a bad payoff for producing a campy video even if he never sold a single product...

Just saying... :)

Comment by Stephen Jackson on June 27, 2012 at 11:48am

Like you said, there's chocolate and vanilla - but I prefer swirl.

Comment by Ketty Colom on June 27, 2012 at 11:42am


I found it interesting in that study, it said that such endorsements weren't worth the $ that brands spend:

A University of Colorado Boulder study found that celebrity endorsements, which are widely used to increase brand visibility and connect brands with celebrities’ personality traits, do not always work in the positive manner that marketers envision.

Research leader Margaret C. Campbell of CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business said negative celebrity associations consistently transferred to an endorsed brand in three separate studies.

“The overall message to marketers is be careful, because all of us, celebrities or not, have positives and negatives to our personalities, and those negatives can easily transfer to a brand,” Campbell said.

What about Charlie Sheen, the self-proclaimed Warlock? I think Fiat did a great job of meshing both the positives and negatives of his personality in this commercial:

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 11:35am

And now the bar is closing......... but before it closes Steve,..... Taxidermy????? Auto-Industry????? I don`t think that`s a very good analogy at all.....

"Don’t worry about funding that viral hit – implement a better user web experience first. Your customers will appreciate it" >>>>>>> Now reading this I certainly would interpret this as promoting their product over another marketing avenue......wouldn't you????


As I said earlier, both Chat & Video can co-exist in this WWW. (Wild Wild West) world of Digital Marketing....... however neither technique may be perfect for all dealerships.


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